This is the first book in a historical mystery series set in the late 1880s in London. In the first book we meet Lady Julia Grey. She is a lady in her late 20’s unhappily married to her childhood friend, Sir Edward Grey. She comes from an aristocratic family, one of nine siblings. While at a dinner party in their home, Edward collapses and dies.
Thinking that Edward died from his long-standing physical infirmity, Lady Julia dons her mourning clothes and tries to move on with her life. That is, until Nicholas Brisbane visits her and informs her that Edward had received threatening notes and believed someone wanted to kill him. He suggests that Edward did not die from his infirmity, but was murdered. Lady Julia is outraged and refuses to believe Brisbane. But, when she discovers one of the threatening notes in Edward’s desk and one of her psalm books slashed with cut-out passages that were used in the notes, she cannot ignore the evidence in front of her.
Julia engages Brisbane to investigate the case. He accepts the job, not realizing that Julia has no intention of sitting back and waiting for results. She follows clues and presses forward, putting herself in danger despite Brisbane’s warnings and attempts to keep her safe. As they get closer to solving the mystery, unpleasant truths are revealed that may have been better left unknown.
This is a very good mystery that keeps your attention from the start. I really enjoyed the historical setting in the book and the characters introduced in this story that I assume carry on into the next books. While the book is a bit long, I attribute that to the necessary world building that comes in every first book in a new series. The story moves along well and has plenty of twists and turns. I look forward to reading the next books in the series.